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International Pearl Design Competition

The International Design Competition celebrates and recognizes design excellence in all types of cultured pearl jewelry under the authority of the Cultured Pearl Association of America. The awards have garnered international recognition for both emerging and seasoned artists from all over the world. The judging process is transparent and confidential, and judges are leaders in the jewelry industry, including editors, store buyers, master craftsmen, and designers of distinction as well as sellers of cultured pearls.

Awards are given to entries that demonstrate the highest level of achievement per category in accordance with the judging criteria. Commendations are also given to entries that demonstrate high standards of achievement in accordance with the judging criteria.

Awards routinely garner media opportunities in print and online publications, including coverage by jewelry trade magazines and this website.


Award Categories for the 2017-2018 IDPC:

  • President’s Trophy. The highest honor, awarded to a design that unanimously captivated all judges as the best of the best.
  • Luster Award. Given to the entry judged most marketable. This design is viewed as having the most appeal for the retail marketplace.
  • Designer’s Award. Given to the entry that takes pearls to the far corners of the imagination and beyond.
  • Brilliance Award. Given to the entry which best illustrates the spectrum of pearl colors in the most beautiful way.
  • Orient Award. Given to the entry that inspires a newfound affinity for cultured pearls in an emerging collector.
  • The Visionary Award. For the entry that redefines the iconic pearl strand, shifting the perception of cultured pearls for today’s buyer.
  • Wedding Day Pearls. Brides and pearls are synonymous; the winning piece offers a fantasy-wedding look with cultured pearls.
  • The Fashion Award. Fun, fresh, modern, the winning design looks as if it came straight from the Paris runway.
  • Fantasy Award. The winning piece is conceptual and aspirational, and could be prohibitive to fabricate.

Award winners receive a framed certificate denoting their award as well as use of the IPDC logo for all printed and web-based media. Commendations receive a printed certificate and use of the IPDC logo for all printed and web-based information.

Click here to see the winning pieces in this year’s competition!

For information about next year’s contest, check back in the third quarter of 2018. To be notified automatically, sign up to receive our Shells newsletter.